The 'Search Party' Cast Breaks Down the Courtroom Drama of Season 3
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3 of Search Party.]
After fans saw the millennial carted away in handcuffs during the Season 2 finale's last moments, Season 3 set its sights on a courtroom saga with Dory and on-again-off-again boyfriend Drew (John Reynolds) standing trial for the murder of private eye Keith Powell (Ron Livingston). The pair accidentally murdered the man in Season 1 and had been covering their tracks since then.
But it was no time for games as the lies came under scrutiny over the course of Season 3's ten episodes. Throughout the season, Drew and Dory's relationship is put under a microscope as the duo's story makes national headlines which glamorize him while also coining the nickname "Gory Dory" for her. "That was a very sad and poignant and funny aspect of the show this season," Reynolds says of the obvious difference in treatment.
"I think it's funny and sad because it's true of the way we view people in society. Drew is getting doted on by fans and basically being turned into a sex symbol while Dory's being shamed for the same thing." While Drew is scoped out by a promiscuous juror, Dory is preyed upon by a more sinister entity in the form of a stalker (played by Cole Escola).
"Yeah, I think the show really hits on those kinds of themes without it being a heavy handed thing," Shawkat confirms. "She's glamorized and also shamed at the same time."
Enduring various court sessions together, Shawkat adds, "Those scenes were so long and tiring to shoot because [they] just go on forever, [but] to have people like Shalita [Grant] and Louie [Anderson] and Michaela [Watkins], they just kept it really fresh and funny every time."
The actress is referring to some of Season 3's newbies including Dory and Drew's lawyers, Cassidy (Grant) and Bob (Anderson). "There's lots of dialogue and Shalita pulled it off so gracefully," Shawkat adds. "It was like a full physical performance, just really dedicated and so funny to watch."
Despite the comical aspect of those sequences, Meredith Hagner — who plays Dory and Drew's friend Portia — hints at the turmoil running beneath the surface, particularly for her character. "More than anything, she's still misses her friend," Hanger says of Portia, who took the stand to testify against Dory.
"Even though [Dory]'s an abusive person to everyone around her," she continues, "Portia kind of engages in such a simplistic way with the people in her life and can't exist in a gray area, so playing all that in the courtroom scenes it was such a dream for me."
Shawkat does admit fault in her character, saying, "Dory does need to evolve as a person, but she's just going in a really wrong direction, but to her she sees it as growth."
As for Reynolds, he is also confused by Drew's consistent draw to Dory. "It is a big struggle for him to understand, 'Why can't I quit Dory? And what is this connection? Why do I love her? Why am I obsessed with her still?', even though she's brought him to hell and back."
Hagner explains, "By the end of Season 3, they are all for better or for worse, bonded through this trauma. And the web of issues just gets insane. When you think it can't get bigger, it does." And viewers can certainly confirm that, as Season 3 concluded with Dory being kidnapped and chained by her stalker following a "not guilty" verdict, leaving fans in the lurch until Season 4 arrives.
"She is forced to sit with the darkest sides of herself in a literal way," Shawkat teases of Dory's future. "And she's forced to face all this destruction she left behind her, and really think in an intense way." Stick around to find out how that mystery unfolds when Season 4 of Search Party arrives in the future. Until then, you can relive every hilarious moment from Season 3 by streaming the series on HBO Max.
Search Party, Streaming now, HBO Max